Vale: Peter J. Greenwood

Australian TV historian and actor Peter J. Greenwood, a pioneer of Australian and international film appreciation, has died, aged 58.

His death in the USA, attributed to COVID-19 and underlying health conditions, was announced last week by his wife Lynn Ramey Greenwood.

Greenwood was an occasional actor with small roles in Prisoner, Taurus Rising, Bellamy, The Restless Years, Rafferty’s Rules, The King of Queens and voice roles for The Rescuers Down Under, Power Rangers Turbo and Crocadoo II.

But he was also an ardent enthusiast of classic TV, including shows such as My Favorite Martian -he tried to recover the original art published by TV21 comic strips and uncovered the unaired pilot. He also campaigned for a revival of the short-lived Living Doll, which starred Bob Cummings and Julie Newmar.

Greenwood helped to develop specialist merchandise, such as Space: 1999, and bring classics to Blu-Ray and DVD, for Umbrella Entertainment, Anderson Entertainment and Shock Entertainment.

In 1992 he was a supervising producer on the Red Dwarf USA short, an attempt to develop an American version of the British sci-fi.

DownTheTubes recalls, “He was also forthright in his opinions of how classic film and TV properties were being treated, in terms of the lack of care for assets – revealing, for example, how he’d once found a stash of priceless TV show relics, including art, hidden, unknown and unloved under a Hollywood sound stage.

“He was, rightly, scathing of the scant regard major web companies had proven in terms of copyright protection and equally dismissive when an attempted revival of a classic property was woefully mishandled, such as The Tomorrow People; predicting, rightly, such attempts would fail, sooner rather than later, because, in his view, those who tried to exploit them singularly failed to understand why they had become a success in the first place.

“My favourite quote from Peter was his description of would-be entrepreneurs and publishers seeking to exploit classic properties as having “champagne tastes, with beer barrel budgets.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to support Peter’s wife and business partner Gay Lynn Greenwood, who is still recovering from a car accident 18 months ago.

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